Timelapse+ Studio is a Lightroom plugin that drastically speeds up and simplifies your timelapse editing workflow. The plugin is developed by the team behind the popular Timelapse+ View controller (a device that helps you shoot sunset and sunrise timelapses).
It has several different functions for timelapse post processing, this article covers all of them and also compares the plugin to popular timelapse editing software LRTimelapse.
Grab your copy of Timelapse+ Studio at a special discount through my affiliate link here (there's also a 7 day free trial available). Below is the promo video from Timelapse+ themselves.
Let's have a look at the main features of Timelapse+ Studio and then talk about the pros and cons.
Timelapse+ Studio plugin features
1. Auto grouping
The plugin automatically recognises which photos are part of a sequence based on what I presume is the time of capture (found in the photo's metadata). Much the same way certain software recognises which photos are part of a panorama based on capture time. The Timelapse+ Studio plugin will automatically create a separate collection for every timelapse sequence in your Lightroom catalog.
I usually create a new folder for every timelapse sequence when shooting. I do this in camera, but sometimes I forget. Instead of scrolling through hundreds of photos in Lightroom to select the start and beginning of a sequence, the plugin automatically detects each sequence and creates a collection for you. This really is quite handy.
Once these collections are created I recommend creating actual folders from them. This separates the photos on a Finder/File Explorer level on your hard drives. Collections are like virtual folders and I prefer to have my files organised separately as opposed to in one big folder. To find out more about timelapse data management check out this article I wrote here.
2. Auto identify keyframes
The Timelapse+ Studio Lightroom plugin automatically identifies keyframes that correlate to changes in exposure.
When shooting a so called holy grail timelapse (meaning a timelapse where you change your exposure, for example during sunrise or sunset) your camera's settings will change. This can happen automatically using a bulb ramping device or controller like the Timelapse+ View or you can adjust it manually like I describe in this article about holy grail timelapses here.
These exposure changes are visible upon playback and will result in bad exposure flickering.
The Studio plugin automatically recognises where the exposure was changed and tells you how to modify them. It then smooths out these transitions in the next step.
3. Blend keyframes
The Studio plugin will automatically adjust the exposure settings for all the photos inbetween the keyframed photos to make sure that there is a smooth transition.
You can also slowly transition (aka ramp) other settings such as white balance, contrast etc.
The plugin also allows you to animate the crop or certain gradients for example.
4. Preview timelapse in Lightroom
Finally, the plugin allows you to render a quick preview from within Lightroom. This is useful to review your sequence to make sure your edit is on the right track.
Keep in mind that you still need to render the video in another app like Adobe After Effects. Check out which software I use for my timelapse rendering right here.
These are the 4 key features that TimelapsePlus Studio offers you. Now let's talk about the pros and cons of this plugin.
Pros and cons of TimelapsePlus Studio
Things I like about TimelapsePlus Studio
Easy learning curve. The plugin is almost entirely plug and play. It's easy to install and the instructions that are built into the plugin in Lightroom are easy to follow.
Stay in Lightroom. You don't have to leave Lightroom to edit your timelapse. Keep in mind that you still need to use external software to render your timelapse into a video file.
Want to know more about timelapse shooting and editing? Download my free e-book about timelapse photography here:
Things I don't like about TimelapsePlus Studio
It doesn't render video. Editing in Lightroom is nice but there's no render engine to export your final video file.
No visual interface. There's no visual interface to follow your editing steps. Yes, the process is very basic but there's no interface that tells you which step of the editing process you're at. This would come in handy when editing a large number of sequences.
How does TimelapsePlus Studio compare to LRTimelapse?
LRTimelapse is probably the most well known timelapse editing software out there. It's been around for a long time and is used by the majority of timelapse professionals.
LRTimelapse is much more expensive, but is an entire standalone application. It has a lot more advanced features (deflickering to name one example) which you can read about in this article here.
Here's a comparison chart I borrowed from the TimelapsePlus website.
Should you buy TimelapsePlus Studio?
If you want to do basic holy grail editing without leaving Lightroom; if you want to preview your timelapses without leaving Lightroom; if you want to auto fade your sequence settings; if you want to automatically organise your timelapse sequences then yes, you should buy this plugin.
Grab it at a discount through my affiliate link here.
If you'd like to learn more about timelapse planning, shooting and editing then have a look at my e-books!